Seeing Behind the Acorns


January 5, 2022- The young man hemmed, hawed and came up with a lame excuse for his behaviour. He tossed a few insults, albeit without using profanity. Then, the story came out that someone he should be able to trust was barely in control of self-and that the place where he should feel safest of all, at the time of day he should feel safest, was far more perilous-not directly, but by implication.

In my years of work, I know how indirect threat can become very, very direct-and in short order. The person who relayed the story to me is a mandatory reporter, and will take the lead on proper notification of the authorities. I’ve been in that situation, also, and have faced the wrath of a perpetrator-in cases of both physical and sexual abuse of minors. I changed nothing, about being faithful to the child(ren) and to the law, as a result.

The child in question had to let his anxiety out somewhere, and so verbal acorns were tossed at me, with physical anger directed at objects in another classroom. Such is the small price we pay for working to ensure a child is safe, in the long run.

I am no worse for the wear. The door and walls have a few scuff marks and no computers were harmed in the course of the afternoon. We will keep close watch on the boy, for the next two days that I am at that school-and long term, he will remain in good hands.

The Little Sticker Bur


December 4, 2018, Prescott-

Life is going pretty much as it should be, right now.

There is still that little sticker bur,


in my head,

or actually,

all through me,

my heart sinking for some reason.

When we were kids,

the sicker burs,

sometimes got onto our clothes,

or in our shoes.

It’s like that today,

and I’m not sure why

the free-floating anxiety

is hitting so hard.

Maybe the feeling,

that I have enraged someone.

I picked up on that,

from the person’s terse message,


I will find out,

soon enough,

next week.

Whatever happens,

I know it’ll be okay,

once the storm passes.




December 9, 2017, Prescott-

I awoke this morning,

in a state of tension.

“Come off it, self!

This is Saturday,

and no one expects

anything of you,

except that you

take part in the

noon conference call.”

I got myself together,

drove to one friend’s house,

picked up a bin of cut juniper,

and delivered to another’s house.

Somehow, I will want to do better

than that.

The pieces of wood are small

in the second friend’s eyes.

Aren’t we a funny breed?

A person is entitled

to big, to fine, to proper,

to sufficient.

I thought of other friends,

in Ojai,

looking at the embers

and foundation, where

once, there was a

home similar to

the second friend’s

house, here.

Where is their piece

of entitlement, now?

Once upon a time,

an angry young woman

demanded of her mate,

that he throw me out

of the house

that five of us shared.

It was mid-February,

cold, snowy,

central Maine.

An older couple

took me in,

two days later.

Seems the Universe

decided that I

was entitled to

dignity, and

freedom from


Here’s how I see it, now.

These are our entitlements:

Respect, with regard to

our persons,

our time,

our necessaries.



therefore, never forced.


to make choices

and to follow through,

on those choices.

These three

are enough for me.

All else proceeds

from them.